Get the Actual Count of A Custom Loop’s Returned Posts

One of the nice things about creating a custom loop is being able to specify how many posts you want, using the showposts parameter, like so:

$feat_loop = new WP_Query( 'showposts=12&category_name=featured' );

However, it is possible that this query does not return a total of 12 posts (for example if you have less than 12 posts under the Featured category). To get the actual count of returned posts, you use this:

$total_returned_post = $feat_loop->post_count;
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TwentyEleven Theme

For a while now, a kickass theme has been available for WordPress.com users, called the Duster theme. This theme has been converted for WordPress.org users and seems to be given a new name, the TwentyEleven.

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Theming for the Masses

I got plenty of good design and code considerations in this slideshow from Wordcamp Seattle 2011, by Michael Fields. I wish there’s a presentation video somewhere.

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Join the WordPress theme review team

Justin Tadlock invites you to join the WordPress theme review team. Any theme submitted to the WordPress.org Theme Directory gets reviewed by this team first, and the deluge of new themes is tough to handle by this small team of twelve.

I am not part of the team, but I’ve taken a look at their process. Being part of the team is without a doubt one of the best way to learn to be a world-class WordPress theme developer. You will learn so much, you begin to notice flaws even in the most popular WordPress themes, and instantly know how to make a better one.

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Don’t Mimic Real-World Interfaces

Ben Brooks talks about how creating realistic looking interfaces (like OSX Lion’s iCal) is not necessarily the best option:

It’s great that you spent 16 hours making that wood grain and stainless steel look exactly like the real thing — looks nice — but does your app work? Does your app make sense?

In terms of theme design, things are more lenient. I’d say that we can have a design based on real life objects, sceneries, and so on. But the novelty of it should not take priority over how well the design communicates a site’s content.

Especially important since soon enough, we will stop distinguishing between a website and an app.

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What’s wrong with paid WordPress Themes: WooThemes vs ElegantThemes

Not only do the handy internal configuration tools for “quick customization” give clients every opportunity to break their own sites, they carry a lot of overhead. Your CSS files will be bloated as you are always offering the code for two column, three column and six or seven different colours.

The upshot is that these themes are generally not coded for best loading time. They have to include and do so many things (CSS, JS, queries) to cover all the possible combinations due to their huge set of features, every time you open a page, regardless whether you use these features or not!

It’s not that having plenty of features is bad. It’s the inefficiency that can be disadvantageous to the end users.

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Technical Web Typography: Guidelines and Techniques

Recommended bookmark material. Covers the technical aspects of setting up typography on the web.

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